AWT News Update: September 8, 2017

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As we head into the weekend before an Apple event next Tuesday, we have a handful of short news items to keep you entertained and up-to-date:

  • Disney is pulling streaming rights for Star Wars and Marvel titles from other services, keeping them only for the upcoming Disney streaming service
  • Siri Remotes are on backorder or out of stock in a number of countries -- could a newly-designed Siri Remote be on tap for Tuesday?
  • Spotify won't give Apple Safari users access to its Web Player
  • A group of Microsoft interns has developed a new useful Mac app for users of Office 365

The text version of the podcast can be read below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update podcast for September 8, 2017. 

Disney CEO Bob Iger today announced that starting in late 2019, Marvel and Star Wars titles will only be able to stream on the company’s upcoming streaming service. Now this doesn’t mean that the content will be pulled from iTunes and other sources for rental or purchase, but it does mean that any existing subscription services such as Netflix and any future service from Apple will not have those titles available as part of an “all you can watch for one price” service. 

One thing we didn’t talk about in any recent discussions of the upcoming Apple event is something that comes with every current Apple TV — the Siri Remote. The device is also available separately for $79 for those who have lost or broken the remote, or who want a second remote available. Well, that device is currently on backorder in the US and Canadian Apple Online Stores, and sold out in other locations like Australia. In the UK, Italy and Germany, the Siri Remote is showing up with a September 12 ship date. We’re pretty sure that a new fifth-generation Apple TV will be announced Tuesday, and that may now include a totally redesigned Siri Remote. Since the fourth-generation Apple TV first shipped in October of 2015, Apple acquired a company called PrimeSense, which developed advanced motion tracking technology. Perhaps a new Siri Remote will include Microsoft Kinect-like features and gestures. We’ll sure find out on Tuesday. 

Without any warning, Spotify has dropped access for its Web Player for users of Apple’s Safari browser. Web Player continues to work fine on Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox and Opera, but Safari users get a message saying that their browser is unsupported. Spotify suggests that those getting the message download the native Mac client instead or switch to one of the supported browsers. One explanation that’s been tossed around is that Spotify on the Web requires a Google plugin called Widevine to work. macOS flags that plugin as a security risk because it doesn’t “support the highest level of security for Safari plug-ins”. 

Finally, if you’re a Microsoft Office 365 user and use a Mac, you might want to take a look at the new My Workspace app. It’s an app that was designed by Microsoft Garage and it brings the power of Office 365 to the Mac menubar. With a click, users can see their daily schedule, accept or decline meeting requests, join Skype calls, and launch recent or pinned Office documents. Garage is an experimental project group at Microsoft, and the My Workspace app was designed and developed by a group of interns in Vancouver, B.C. A link to the free My Workspace download is in the show notes. 

That’s all for today; I’ll be back Monday afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.